Skip navigation

Fix it Florida voters! Fix it now! You don’t get a second chance. Fix it now before you are tainted and are recognized as the dumbest state in the union. People’s exhibit A:

And here is the material for the Florida GOP’s second campaign commercial:

Tasty.
All kidding aside, I can’t be any more serious. Garcia must go. A man of his sloppy intellect and habits in power is a signal of the end of the Republic.

by Ron Brzoska

Last week I received my property tax bill. The purpose of this blog is not to complain about it. In relative terms, I got off easy. My property taxes went up a total of $47.00. I know of others in my community that have seen their property taxes increase by hundreds of dollars. I did find it a bit outrageous that the assessed property value of my home and the others in my locality have remained depressed over their values from ten years ago, but the taxes still go up. My purpose here is to highlight the trends and drivers of my property taxes, what it means, and what we should do about it.

My property taxes went up by 2.24% over the previous year. Increase in the cost of administering government (operations), went up by 0.81%. I can live with that time of increase. I think most people can. The increase in pension costs is 21.95%. To provide proper context, that only accounts for an additional $32, but that also means that pension costs account for 68% of the increase in my property tax bill. Also, if this increase is only the beginning and this percentage of increase is only a harbinger of things to come, it won’t be long before these increased pension costs become quite noticeable and expensive. Please don’t think that when I say “pensions” that I am speaking in code and really mean “teachers.” A third of that increased pension cost on my tax bill comes from my village which saw an increase of 13.3%. That is also an enormous jump.

The following chart shows what taxing bodies make up my property tax.

piechart

The next chart shows the percentage of increase by each taxing body.

chart2

Finally, the dollar amount each taxing body raised my property tax.

chart3

Property taxes are driven by our school districts and municipalities. Everyone knows that. What we need to do now is make it known that we know it. We need to pay greater attention to our school board and village government races. We need to let the candidates know that we will not accept a sentence of death by a thousand papercuts. We need to stop living the lie that political ideology doesn’t matter locally. We need to recognize that most of the people we send to state and national office were once on our village councils and our school boards. We need to realize that the progressives have been building their farm team in this way for decades. We need to make sure that fiscal conservatives hold our local offices to send the message up the food chain. We need to send this message to ALL of the political parties. We need to wake up and not be shy about it.

by Ron Brzoska

I received an email today that would have been one of those funny political joke forwards, only that it wasn’t a joke but was absolutely true. A Naperville, IL resident sent a mass email out to his friends that may be interested in getting a conceal carry permit. Here it is (the name has been changed to protect the innocent):

On Sun, Apr 27, 2014 at 12:59 PM, Joe wrote:

The Naperville Sportmans Club will be putting on a training program to certify individuals for Illinois permit, below is the information sent to the members of a club. About 15 people have signed up for it, each class can have up to 30 students. This is a excellent opportunity to take the Qualifying Course locally.

The following is the information on the class, if you are interested please call John. I would also like to hear from you if you are going to take the class.

Thank you for the opportunity, I am pleased to propose a 16 hour Illinois Concealed Carry training course for the Jefferson Club of Naperville. This course will provide each student, that completes the course satisfactorily, a certificate of training to submit with their Illinois Concealed Carry License application.

Our curriculum has been certified by the Illinois State Police and is called “AHFT Concealed Carry”.

The course consists of 5 modules: (1)   Firearm Safety; 2 hours (2)   Basic principles of marksmanship; 3 hours (3)   Care, cleaning, loading and unloading of a concealable firearm; 3 hours (4)   All applicable State and Federal laws relating to the ownership, storage, carry and transportation of a firearm; 4 hours (5)   Weapon Handling; 4 hours 

The price for your course will be $140.00 per student, with a maximum of 30 students. Payable in cash at the student’s attendance of the first module.

I recommend the modules be taken in order but they do not have to be. Schedule (subject to modification):

Module 1, Monday May 19th – 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Module 2, Wednesday May 21st – 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Module 3, Friday May 23rd - 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Module 1, 2 and 3, Saturday May 24th – 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Module 4, Sunday May 25th – 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Module 4, Wednesday May 28th – 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Module 5, Range to be scheduled based on availability of range and students.

We can shift to dates sooner or later based on your needs, I am flexible.

Things the student will need: A Positive Attitude

A Handgun The Handgun owner’s manual for gun used (hard or soft copy) Ammunition for Handgun used (~200 rounds)

A Concealment Garment A Strong Side Hip Holster – must cover trigger guard with gun in place (training safety issue with multiple students on the firing line). We will be pleased to teach other holster types in addition to the above on a one student on the firing line at a time basis.

Sign and date our waivers which I will be happy to provide copies of in advance;

(1) Release, Waiver, Indemnification, Hold Harmless and Assumption of Risk Agreement

(2) Safety Protocol Agreement

(3) Legal Advice Waiver 

All Instructors that may help on the project are certified NRA Chief Range Safety Officers and Illinois Concealed Carry Firearms Instructors.

Thank you again for the opportunity and I look forward to working with you on this project,

John - 630-XXX-XXXX

Chief Instructor

At Home Firearms Training

Illinois Certified Concealed Carry Instructor

NRA Chief Range Safety Officer

NRA Instructor:

Certified Pistol

Certified Shotgun

Certified Home Firearm Safety

Certified Refuse To Be A Victim

Certified Personal Protection In The Home

Certified Personal Protection Outside The Home

Gunsite Academy : Certificate of Training in Defensive Pistol

A friend of mine responded…

Joe, I’m sure that it has something to do with water, IQ, or street smarts, but our course in Florida takes 3 hours and cost $60.  Also veterans, ex-cops, etc. are except from the course.

I swear to God. I didn’t make this up.

by Ron Brzoska

April 28th, is Tax Freedom Day in Illinois. Tax Freedom Day is the day that you are finally working for yourself. Up until now, you have been working to earn the money to pay all of the taxes taken from you by the various units of government. It’s all about you now… after 117 days.

According to an article published by the Illinois Opportunity Project, Tax Freedom Day in Illinois is three days later this year than it was last year. The idea behind this is to provide a better illustration of tax burden. Just think, we are working for almost a third of a year before we are earning any money that gets to stay in our pockets.

Let’s break it down into a smaller bite. Rather than scaling to a year, let’s scale to a work week. You would be working all day Monday and for 49 minutes past lunch on Tuesday until you had earned enough in a week to pay your taxes. If we scale it down even smaller to a single eight-hour work day, you will need to work for 2 hours and 34 minutes before you are working for yourself. For me, this means that my first two meetings, my two cups of coffee, and my new bookings for the morning are done for the state. When my first hunger pangs remind me that lunch is near, I’m finally on my time. What does it mean for you?

Feeling taxed enough already?

cubicle

By Ron Brzoska

1982…sandberg

I was 10 years old.

Ryne Sandberg finished his rookie year with the Chicago Cubs.

I was playing Pac-Man on my Atari 2600.

atariLate Night with David Letterman debuted.

The Dow closed at 1,046.

The #1 movie was E.T. the Extraterrestrial.

The price of gas was 91 cents per gallon.et

The Chicago Cubs were six years away from having lights at Wrigley Field.

Harold Baines, Carlton Fisk, and Greg Luzinski were putting balls on the roof at Comiskey (not Kaminsky) Park.

The first CD player is sold. My son will probably never use one.thriller

There were only two Star Wars Movies.

Speaking of movie franchises, Freddy Kruger and the Nightmare on Elm Street series did not yet exist.

The Bulls and Blackhawks played at the old barn called Chicago Stadium.

There was Astroturf, but no UFO at Soldier Field.mrt

Jane Byrne was Mayor of Chicago. Jim Thompson was Governor of Illinois.

Michael Jackson releases the Thriller Album.

Rocky III introduced Mr. T to the world.knightrider

My future wife started kindergarten.

My favorite TV show was Knight Rider.

A sophomore from the University of North Carolina, Michael Jordan, hits the game winning shot of the NCAA championship.

jordanncWe were all excited with the possibilities of personal computing when the Commodore 64 was introduced.

Punky QB Jim McMahon, and Coach Mike Ditka were rookies for the Chicago Bears.

MTV was one year old and the only programming was a thing called “music videos.”mtv

Dick Durbin was elected to national office for the first time.

Hasn’t he had enough of a chance? Haven’t WE had enough?

Vote for Jim Oberweis.

durbinold

By Ron Brzoska

When you read this, read it with the cadence of a Jeff Foxworthy “You might be a redneck” joke. The only problem is that this isn’t funny.

If you have to take over 1/6 of the economy to give insurance to 1/300 of the people… you are living in Obama’s America.

If your IRS Director is in contempt of Congress… you are living in Obama’s America. lois lerner

If you say the economy is on recovery as the real unemployment rate continues to rise… you are living in Obama’s America.

If major financial reform (Dodd-Frank) doesn’t include the two entities largely responsible… you are living in Obama’s America. imagesCAJ1XMS9

If a law is unpopular, and the president’s answer is to pick and chose which parts to enforce or delay… you are living in Obama’s America.

If members of your oversight committee are implicated in the very investigation they are overseeing… you are living in Obama’s America.           cummings

If requiring ID for early voting is fine, but requiring ID for election day itself is racist… you are living in Obama’s America.

If you campaign against the evil corporations, and then appoint the CEOs to your cabinet… you are living in Obama’s America.                                                                                                                                          imagesCAALOSBS

If we can’t dispatch soldiers to save an American ambassador, but we can dispatch troops to stop a cattle drive… you are living in Obama’s America.

stevens

If your HHS Secretary resigns in weariness and frustration after touting the success of her crowning historic achievement… you are living in Obama’s America.                                                                                                                              sebelius

If your Attorney General gives weapons to drug cartels, but wants tracking bracelets for law-abiding citizens wanting to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights… you are living in Obama’s America.                                                            holder

If a shooter yelling “Allahu Ackbar” before opening fire at a military base is termed “workplace violence”… you are living in Obama’s America.

nidal hassan

If SuperPac money is evil, but Big Labor donations are unquestionable… you are living in Obama’s America.

If rising insurance premiums are called “affordable” while a free ID is called an undue hardship… you are living in Obama’s America.

And finally…

If you didn’t vote for this president, and you can’t understand why anyone did… you are living in Obama’s America.

obamagump

By Ron Brzoska

Last Wednesday the Supreme Court struck down the limits on aggregate campaign contributions and the left nearly lost their collective minds. (Ha! Get it? …”left”… “collective”… guess you had to be there.) Anyway, the left is portraying the decision as the end of campaign finance reform (as if it ever existed) and that an infinite amount of money from the Koch Brothers is about to flood every election. Between this and the Citizens United decision, progressives would have you believing that the Republicans are now destined to win every election.

The narrative has long been that big money goes to the Republican Party. This is a long-standing fallacy; one that I can’t believe the Republican Party hasn’t been able to demonstrate. Since January of 1989, $3,014,026,066.00 has been donated to political campaigns by groups known as “heavy hitters.”

http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php

Of that, 38.9% ($1,172,121,553.44) went to Republican candidates while 55.5% ($1,671,916,127.09) went to Democratic Party candidates. The remainder went to third-party or candidates in non-partisan races. Even with the disparity among the two major parties, we are still talking about enormous sums of money. So for the left to be against large campaign contributions from corporations, they would be hurting themselves right? Not so much. If you take the money from these evil corporations out of the coffers of the respective parties, you get the following: Democrats drop by 33% to $1,123,181,257.78 while the Republicans lose 65% of their funding to put them at $412,423, 629.59. The Democrats ratio of campaign dollars over the Republicans would be nearly three to one.  That is an advantage that no one can overcome. Let’s be honest, the hue and cry over campaign contributions has nothing to do with the desire for purity and innocence in elections. It’s about power.

 

bigstock_Falling_Money_669153

Photo also courtesy of http://www.opensecrets.org

By Ron Brzoska

Most bad news is buried on a Friday. The most famous example is that companies tend to do their layoffs on a Friday. I have noticed that government has taken to this strategy in the last few years. Think back to how many times you have heard about a tax increase, bill, resignation, or report with a negative result on a Friday. The idea is that the public is so focused on the weekend that they won’t be as upset by the news, if they even care at all.

This past Friday, The Illinois General Assembly passed a couple of joint resolutions out of committee hoping we wouldn’t notice.

The first one was HJRCA52. This resolution is about voting rights and was filed by Speaker of the House, and Illinois Democratic Party Chairman, Michael Madigan. If passed, it will be on the ballot in November for adoption to the state constitution. The language is very harmless on its surface and quite admirable.

No person shall be denied the right to register to vote or to cast a ballot in an election based on race, color, ethnicity, status as a member of a language minority, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or income.

The language is so good that it passed with bi-partisan support… even though no one could understand why it was needed. My state rep, Ron Sandack, voted for this resolution in committee even though he has been quoted asking for an instance where someone was discriminated against, which would call for this resolution. Afterall, the Illinois Constitution already says “All elections shall be free and equal.” Funny though, it is just like government to take a seven word sentence and turn it into a forty word sentence. To answer Representative Sandack’s question, HJRCA52 is not about policy; it’s about agenda. Madigan and the Democrats do not want voter ID legislation to go through. The tactic that they have taken is to equate voter identification with discrimination, particularly racism. Madigan just wrote his resolution to leave no stone unturned. No one is for discrimination, so even the Republicans will vote for it. Madigan wants Republicans on the record for the time when someone tries to introduce a bill for voter identification. Either he will portray the politician as racist, or the legislation as such. Then Madigan will point towards the state constitution and the overwhelming vote that placed his resolution there as reasons to defeat any voter integrity initiative. You don’t get to be king of Illinois for forty years by being dumb.

The second resolution is SJRCA40. This is the latest attempt to introduce a progressive tax system.  A little more than a week ago, the first progressive tax bill was rejected in committee. It was very easy to see that it was a tax increase on every person on Illinois, which isn’t going to be very popular, but that doesn’t mean the Democrats want to stop trying. Speaker Madigan had floated the idea of a “Millionaire Tax” and here, on Friday, Senator Don Harmon (D) got his progressive tax resolution through his committee. How convenient. SJRCA40 reads as follows:

There may be one tax on the income of individuals and corporations. This may be a fair tax where lower rates apply to lower income levels and higher rates apply to higher income levels.

Please note that there is no mention of millionaires. Please note that the language used is “lower” and “higher”. This not only indicates initial subjectivity when the rates are established, but allows for the rates to be changed to satisfy the opinions of higher and lower incomes at a future date. There also is nothing written into this resolution that limits us to two tax brackets. This resolution doesn’t place a limit on the number of tax brackets. This, my fiends, is a progressive tax system by any other name.

So what do we do? We tell the truth in any forum we possess. We tell the truth over and over again. We bring sunshine to the intentions of Illinois Democrats and we wake up the voters. Democrats don’t want to stop election fraud because they thrive on it. If you disagree, you will be labeled a racist. The Democrats want to tax your prosperity. If you disagree, you will be labeled as greedy. The truth, specifically the truth spoken loudly and by many, is the only way out of this.

It was just two years ago when President Obama was caught on an open mic saying the following to Russian President Dimitri Medvedev:

President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.

President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…

President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.

President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.

While this was chalked up then to mean only missile defense, and was generally portrayed in the media as another case of the right making another one of their crazy conspiracy theories, considering what has happened with the Ukraine and Russia’s annexation of the Crimea… should we take another look? No, I am not saying our president is in on it or condones the Russian actions, but what if Russian President Medveved didn’t really understand what President Obama meant?

I take President Obama’s statements as a kind brush off. He probably found some of the positions held by the Russians to be in conflict with what he wanted to do, and what the United States wanted to do, particularly in an election year. Rather than creating ill will between Russia and America at a time when he was vulnerable, Obama wanted to table those issues for a future time.

Fast forward to today. Have we followed up? Probably not? Did we clarify our positions? Who knows? Did Medvedev, Putin, and the Russian policy makers perceive Obama’s assurances as consent and agreement… and that he only needed to get through the election before he could formally endorse them? Did the Russians have the same perception as the “vast right-wing conspiracy”?

I learned a long time ago that perception is reality. This may be a lesson that our president was naïve about in this case.

I heard a great joke from a caller to the WLS-AM morning show with Bruce Wolf and Dan Proft. The caller was talking about the trip First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters took to China when he said…

This has to be the most expensive mani/pedi in history. Whenever my wife wants a manicure, I send her to the Chinese lady down the street, I don’t send her to China.

How much did the trip cost? Due to security concerns since 9/11, the costs of trips these types of trips are not publicly detailed, but in 1999 President Clinton took a weeklong trip to China documented at a cool $18 million.

MichelleAntoinettephoto from American Thinker

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.